The Wyoming Rescue Mission held a grand ceremony Tuesday for its new Park Street Center facility in Casper — and residents may have noticed a few local leaders in the crowd.
Vice Mayor Charlie Powell and Councilmen Mike Huber and Bob Hopkins all attended the event.
“I’m a believer in spirits,” Huber said at the Council’s Tuesday work session, “and I got the feeling there that they’re good spirits and good work is going to be done (at the Center).”
The Wyoming Rescue Mission is a Christian nonprofit that helps homeless citizens get back on their feet. The new shelter can accommodate roughly 200 people per night and also offers classrooms, as well as a spacious kitchen and dining area.
Huber said the charity’s representatives all expressed appreciation for the city’s support.
At the opening ceremony, Powell told the Star-Tribune that he hopes homeless citizens from throughout the state will come to Casper for support. The vice mayor said he firmly believes the homeless can rebuild their lives if they receive the proper assistance.
Toward the end of Tuesday’s work session, Councilman Jesse Morgan asked if there were any plans in the works to address irresponsible landlords who let properties fall into disrepair.
Napier said city employees are continuing to work on a potential ordinance that would address unsanitary or unsafe housing conditions without violating residents’ personal property rights.
Residents who pay attention to local politics likely remember the public outcry last summer over the International Property Maintenance Code.
The code would have given the Building and Community Development Department more teeth to address unsafe or inadequate housing. But it also required the upkeep of structures’ appearances and permitted city workers to enter private buildings to conduct inspections.
The Council ultimately voted the code down.
Councilwoman Kenyne Humphrey reminded the Council about the importance of valuing city employees. The city is still recovering from the last economic downturn, and Humphrey said she realized that cutting expenditures is important.
“I just don’t want to do it on the backs of the employees,” she said.
Councilman Dallas Laird continued with his quest to convince council members to pass an anti-bullying resolution. The councilman has brought up the issue a few times, but it doesn’t appear to be gaining much traction.
Laird said October would be a perfect time to pass the resolution because it’s National Bullying Prevention Month.
Laird said he’s already spoken to a few local teachers about the matter.
“What they’re telling me is that there is a lot of bullying going on,” he said.
Explaining that bullying sometimes causes children and teenagers to skip school or even commit suicide, Laird said the Council had a responsibility to raise awareness about the problem.
“These things haunt these children and create problems into their later years,” he said.